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HRRMC employee tests positive for COVID-19

The infection was not the result of a hospital-acquired exposure.

SALIDA, Colo. – A Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center employee tested positive for COVID-19 through HRRMC and Chaffee County Public Health’s most recent weekly community testing day.

The infection was not the result of a hospital-acquired exposure. The employee tested positive after recently traveling outside of the county. The employee had been and continues to be completely asymptomatic, and sought testing as a precautionary measure after returning to the community. The positive test result was received the evening of Thursday, June 4.

Although the employee worked their regular shifts at HRRMC this week before being notified of the test results on Thursday, the employee wore masks and gloves as PPE and followed strict social distancing guidelines at all times, had limited contact with patients and colleagues, and was determined to have had no prolonged exposure to or close contact with any patients or colleagues during work hours.

Consequently, according to CDC guidelines, the risk of transmission of the virus from this employee to patients and other employees is regarded as low under these circumstances. Consistent with CDC guidelines, the employee is currently quarantined, and not allowed to return to work until undergoing two negative COVID-19 tests.

HRRMC and Chaffee County Public Health are coordinating contact tracing efforts. Public Health is conducting contact tracing of all individuals this employee was in contact with during the employee’s travel outside of the community and since returning to the community, and HRRMC’s Occupational Health team is managing the contact tracing process internally for HRRMC employees who had any contact with the employee.

“This employee’s exposure occurred outside of the hospital and community, and testing occurred through Public Health,” said HRRMC CEO Bob Morasko. “Since March, HRRMC has tested a total of 60 symptomatic employees, and all 60 of those symptomatic employees tested negative. This employee has been vigilant throughout the pandemic in following CDC and CDPHE guidelines on wearing PPE and social distancing, and although asymptomatic, sought to be tested as a precaution. The exposure did not occur at the hospital, but we are ensuring every employee and patient the COVID-positive employee came in contact with is made aware and properly assessed.”

Updates will be communicated as needed as Public Health and HRRMC conduct contact tracing procedures.